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Want to find your passion? Do this instead

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Throughout my work as a coach, I’ve heard many stories about career transitions and the challenges that come alongside figuring out next steps.

With all of the options that we have available today, it’s overwhelming to figure out which career path is ideal for you.

Add to that any confusion you have around your passions and strengths, and the whole transition process can be immobilizing.

How many times have you told yourself, “I don’t know what my passion is,” or “I want to find something I’m passionate about”?

I held on to those statements for years thinking they were the answers to my problems.

I was wrong.

Identifying your passion does not mean identifying the right career fit. Passion is fleeting.

You could be really passionate about something today, like health or food or entertainment, but you may not be emotionally connected to it tomorrow.

In fact, you may even fear that, in a year, you won’t love what you’re doing right now.

If any of this sounds like you, you need to ask different questions.

Rather than look for a passion, you should be looking for a purpose: something that connects you to your work in a deep way and anchors you for the long term.

At Work Bigger, we use a specific formula to help you identify your purpose and the right career. It goes something like this: Passion + Strengths + Values = Purpose.

Let’s talk about why each one is important.

What do you care about and why?

Passion is important, but it’s only one aspect of your purpose.

Even after you identify what you’re passionate about, you need to dig deep to understand where your passions come from. Is it a meaningful experience you had as a child? A pain point that you’ve experienced as an adult?

Understanding the nitty-gritty matters.

The why behind the passion is significantly more important because when things get tough, that’s what keeps you going.

You can download a Work Bigger guide that will help you identify your interests and your why here.

What are your strengths?

After you get clear on what you want — because what you want is more important than what you’re good at — the next step is to identify your strengths.

First, tap into your confidence and intuition. Chances are you already know what you’re good at.

Second, keep an ear out for what others are saying — with caution. Feedback is helpful, and you can look out for themes, but it’s not the whole picture.

Here are some questions to help you identify your strengths:

  • When I’m working, when am I in the zone?
  • What do others compliment me on?
  • When do I feel most confident? What am I doing?

What do you stand for?

What are your values?

Unless you’re clear on what you stand for, it will be challenging to find meaningful work.

Your values should govern nearly every aspect of your life — from how you spend your money to the work that you do. (Trust me, it makes life and decision-making so much easier).

Once you have this blueprint, you can narrow down your job search to the companies that you connect with the most.

And when you’re at that interview, your conversation is elevated: you’re no longer talking about the bullet points on your résumé. Instead, you’re talking about your vision and purpose and what you and that employer can accomplish together.

If you’re starting a business, your values will help shape the mission of your company. It’s the foundation you need to feel connected to your work.

You can find a Work Bigger guide that will help you get clear on your values here.

Now I want to hear from you. Which of these questions do you feel most clear on right now? And which ones do you feel like you need to work on?

P.S. Make sure to download our workbook, Attach to a Purpose, Not a Job to get clarity on what you want, faster! 

Belma McCaffrey

Author Belma McCaffrey

More posts by Belma McCaffrey

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